Resources on Botanical Illustration: Books

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Can't find the article, book, or report you need at our library? You can request it from another library through interlibrary loan.


The Art of Botanical Illustration by Wilfrid Blunt and William T. Stern
This is a survey of botanical illustration from Middle Ages to the present and is a classic within the subject of botanical illustration. Published in cooperation with Kew Gardens, and centered in the European and British traditions of botanical illustration. It includes a bibliography of books on British plants, as well as a more general bibliography.

The Book of Flowers: Four Centuries of Flower Illustration by Alice M. Coats
Preface states: "limited to flowers as represented on paper or vellum, not those in painting [...]. It covers the period from 1485 to 1850, when standards of reproduction began to decline". A nice selection of 15th- 19th century works, reproduced in black and white and in color plates, of flowers from famous and important herbals, florilegums, and other collections. Also includes brief descriptions of the works and/or the botanists and artists that produced the illustrations.

The Art of Flowers by Jack Kramer
Introduction states "inspirational book rather than a how-to-draw work." Provides brief biographical sketches of a number of important 19th century flower illustrators with nice reproductions of examples of their work. Also provides a historical overview of 19th century flower illustration. "Golden age of botanical art 1820-60". Less scholarly than the others included here, yet it contains a section of advice on botanical illustration from the great illustrators.
"A magnificent took into 19th century botanical illustration by such renowned artists as Pierre Joseph Redoute, George Brookshaw, Jane Loudon, and others. Features scores of dazzling, rare reproductions and a special section of how-to-draw flower books from the 19th century." [Alibris blurb]

Garden Eden: Masterpieces of Botanical illustration by H. Walter Lack
This book "presents selections from one hundred outstanding works of botanical illustration residing in the extensive collections of the Austrian National Library in Vienna. The 483 coloured plates provide a chronological, geographic, thematic and technical profile of botanical illustration ranging from the 6th to the 20th century: from the Byzantine Codex Aniciae Julianae (included in UNESCO's 'Memory of the World' list), through early Renaissance herbals and magnificently illustrated Baroque gardens, to the golden century of botanical illustration between 1750 and 1850. The arrival of photography has effected radical changes in the realm of botanical illustration, but its importance remains unaltered." [Book cover]

  • Last Updated: May 16, 2017 8:33 AM
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